Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Chapei Chockblock AAR Bounding Fire

One of the packs I am playing through from start to finish is the excellent Blood & Jungle by Bounding Fire. This pack is all Pacific Theatre of Operations (PTO) and covers battles within the jungle, around airfields and even in towns and cities. This scenario is one of these city fights set in Shanghai.

Known as the first Shanghai Incident in which a series of confrontations led to a full scale assault on the 5th February 1932. In the event the Chapei district of Shanghai had been barricaded and that with the narrow streets made the effective use of armour by the Japanese almost impossible. Whilst gains were made it was not the expected result and the Japanese Army had to send further troops to support the Kurume Navel Infantry Brigade. Could I do better as the attacking Japanese?

The scenario uses the more cluttered half of the first Double Boards produced by Bounding Fire which is a joy to play on even if it did make using tanks a nightmare. I would need to capture five multi-hex buildings towards the rear of the Chinese set-up area. To do this I had eighteen second line squads (not the usual troops one expects to start the game with), a couple of MMG's four LMG's and five tanks and an armoured car. Rob had just twelve squads at start, five of which were conscripts. He also had two 75* ART guns, two HMG's and two LMG's. He also had eight dummy counters and as I started off board all units were concealed. To help keep the tanks at a distance two roadblocks and six trench locations were in his OOB. Turn five (of 8) would see five squads and two tanks arrive.

A quick word on the tanks, only one of the eight AFV's had a main gun larger than a MG and that was my Type 89A Chi-Ro with a 57* a real tank killer amongst these tin cans. Even a LMG can take out a tank at this point in time.

Both Banzai and Dare Death are not allowed in this scenario so I can't do any close quarter charges into melee and Rob can not got Berserk to do the same to me.

I was able to get a good starting position for my infantry and make large fire groups to start pushing the Chinese away from the road I would need to cross. At first I kept the tanks back to save them from close assault and limit the risk from the MG's taking them out or immobilizing them. My advancing fire and defensive fire of the following turn created enough gaps in the Chinese line that I was able to get units across the first road without too many casualties and no squads destroyed. 

The Chinese HMG's are 5pp guns meaning they were dropped when the squads were broken. So fast was my advance that I had to leave these behind as I was continually trying to get behind the Chinese defensive line. This forced Rob to leave his positions in the centre as I moved up his flanks. It also meant that he was losing broken troops for failure to rout. I was taking them prisoner at this point to make sure I got the maximum out of breaking Rob's troops.

Rob brought one of his guns out of hiding but failed to get any decent results as he missed my flanking tanks and lost the gun to a Intensive Fire shot as he expected it to be overrun in the following turn.

By the end of turn four I had most of the victory buildings in my hands whilst only a couple of squads were still in good order from the original force. The second ART opened up missing a sitting target and again lost to an intensive fire shot as I moved to take the gun out in close combat.

I finally mopped up the last resistance in the victory buildings on turn six before the reinforcements could get to the buildings. By this point I had overwhelming odds and Rob needed a few breaks to go his way, kind of breaking the trend to this point. However I was able to shrug off most of his shots whilst a MMG took out one of his tanks and I continued with heavy fire into the troops preparing to cross the street and try and recapture one of the buildings. The Chinese started to melt away from my attacks which were just getting stronger as I brought up yet more troops as they finished mopping up the last of the broken original force. 

After prep fire Rob threw in the towel as he now was down to two good order squads and I was poised to DM his two broken squads that had a chance of getting back for the last turn.

It was a good scenario with plenty of chances for the Chinese to turn back a few attacks but the combination of Japanese squads not breaking and my large fire groups with low rolls meant Rob was on a back foot throughout the game.  In the next scenario from Blood & Jungle it's the Chinese who are attacking.


  1. Thanks for this bat rep. I'm not familiar with Bounding Fire's products but it looks a good map board with a lot of tactical problems, which you seem to have solved handily. Nice to see ASL played in this period and theatre.

  2. Bounding Fire is made up with some of the old Heat of Battle talent as well as others that have been published by the likes of MMP and CH.

    The Blood & Jungle pack is quite a beast, great scenario's even better boards and plenty of scenario's that cover pre-WWII PTO and I can not recomend it enough.